March 04, 2011

Melvin Martin on True Grit

Correspondent Melvin Martin (Lakota Sioux) responds to the characterizations in Hanged Indian in True Grit:Were Indians negatively portrayed in the 2010 movie "True Grit"?

No, they were not at all badly portrayed in the movie...

The first Indian: Undoubtedly a hardened criminal wholly deserving of his fate--he most likely murdered someone while in a drunken state, hence his punishment. This whale-like tub of shit was as close to reality as they could get.

The second two Indians at the outpost: The Indian who was kicked by Rooster was some kind of a degenerate, malignant dwarf (and certainly not a child) who was guilty of aiding and abetting Tom Chaney--note the shit-eating grin on his face even after he was kicked. Punks like this INFEST Indian Country and are usually involved in all kinds of unsavory activities.

The older Indian on horseback: Outrageously funny that he'd trade a corpse for something. Rooster gave this man the ultimate in respect by giving him the body in exchange for being on his land and for a little information.
Comment:  I still haven't seen the movie, but these characterizations don't sound positive to me. Also, Melvin seems to be guessing the Indians' back stories and motivations. Others might "read" the characters differently.

For more on the subject, see Hanged Indian in True Grit and The Best Indian Movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well the first Indian was condemned to hang so he must have committed some crime since the other men they were executing along with him were there for murder, and about him having his covered in the middle of his speech do you think back in those days they would have let an Indian talk, The second Indians were two little kids terrorizing a mule by whipping it with a broom so Rooster kicked them off the porch and let the animal go, as for the third Indian I didn't see anything with him.